Supreme Court Overturns Decades-Old Decision on Sovereign Immunity
Protects states from cases other states
The Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Franchise Tax Bd. of Cal. v. Hyatt. The Justices of the court determined that the prior Supreme Court ruling in Nevada v. Hall was now overturned. This ruling, therefore, means that states retain their sovereign immunity from private suits brought in courts of other states.
Justice Clarence Thomas said in the majority opinion that the Constitution implies strongly that “States could not be haled involuntarily before each other’s courts.” Justice Thomas also addressed the fact that the Court was breaking with tradition, where it will not overturn previous decisions unless there is pressing reason to do so. He said that the 40-year-old Nevada v. Hall “is contrary to our constitutional design and the understanding of sovereign immunity shared by the states that ratified the Constitution.”
- For the Justices of the Court to have wisdom as they determine how they will rule on future cases.
- For the Court to determine the best cases to hear in the upcoming October term.
- For state governments to have wisdom on how best to apply the new Supreme Court rulings.